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Online dating and politics don't mix: study

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People are more likely to reveal they are overweight than divulge their political stripes on online dating sites, according to a new American study.

"When asked to describe their body type, a larger proportion of our sample voluntarily described themselves as either 'heavy set,' having 'a few extra pounds,' or 'stocky' (17 per cent) than listed 'politics' as one of their interests," the researchers wrote in their unfortunately titled study, "Do bedroom eyes wear political glasses?"

Sifting through 2,944 randomly sampled online dating profiles, the researchers found that only 14 per cent of users stated their "political interests." The topic ranked a measly 23rd out of 27 interest categories — just a notch above "business networking" and "book club." Sorry, books.

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Of the few who listed politics as an interest, 57 per cent claimed their beliefs were "middle of the road."

Older daters as well as those with higher levels of income and education were more likely to divulge their political leanings. So were men, with women eight per cent less likely to report a political bent.

So how do people end up with partners who share their ideology? The researchers point to previous studies that show spouses share political views more than nearly any other trait, aside from religion.

The researchers turn to evolution: Compatibility increases your chances of successfully raising kids together, and so even though one might not be picky at the start of a relationship, politics will eventually come up.

"At some point in the dating process we somehow filter out people who do not share our political preferences," one of the study authors said in a release.

"Our best guess is that in the short-run most people want to cast as wide a net as possible when dating. However, in the long-run shared political preferences become a critical foundation of lasting relationships, despite the fact that many Americans are not even interested in politics."

Of course, plenty of dating sites cater specifically to people's political leanings, from to, and so it would seem unwise to proclaim your love for Michele Bachmann on a mainstream site that sees most people bonding over cultural juggernauts like 30 Rock.

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Have you ever bombed a date on account of political differences?

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Zosia More

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